“America doesn’t have a police problem, she has a heart problem”

History has shown us there are events that can define a generation, a decade, or even a single year. Some events are triumphant such as the Miracle on Ice, the 1980 remarkable USA Olympic hockey team victory over the heavily favored Soviet team, which some called the greatest moment in sports history. But there are also tragic events such as 9/11 that shook our nation and the world to its core. Those are just two examples of a broader point I want to make in this post. In each event, good or bad we (Americans) came together to support one another. The Miracle on Ice brought the nation together with joy and pride for defeating what was considered an undefeatable foe and the events of 9/11 galvanized us in such a way that we set aside our differences and became ONE.
So this past week we found ourselves in the midst of yet another defining moment in the form of a series of tragic killings that has further divided an already divided country along racial lines, particularly during this very volatile political season. First and foremost, let me express my heartfelt condolences to the families of the two black men who were killed by the hands of law enforcement, and to the families of the 5 police officers who lost their lives Dallas by the hand of a self-admitted racist. Such senseless loss of life is tragic and pernicious. However, unlike 9/11 these instances have created a greater division on two fronts; African Americans and law enforcement, Caucasians and African Americans, and the divide is exasperated by the politicization and rhetoric that seems to continually follow events like these.
So what can we do? It is my strong opinion that we must first get past the talking points because everyone has heard and agrees with “We need to stop the violence”, “We need to come together”, We need to love each other” and “We need to have a dialogue about race.” Yes, all those are true but let’s keep it real for a moment. The real question is HOW do we get to a place where we can achieve the aforementioned realities. To me the answer is painfully obvious yet difficult to obtain. The answer is in the heart, where you will find honesty and acceptance.
Bakari Sellers, Former SC Democratic House of Rep. and CNN contributor so eloquently stated “America doesn’t have a police problem, she has a heart problem” (2016). I think every American needs to take an honest inventory of his or her worldview and assess where that worldview falls within societal norms.  And that’s not saying that your worldview has to conform to anyone else’s, however society does have a system of norms that are based on culture, customs and laws. Therefore, if after that assessment one finds his/her views outside of those norms then it should become a priority for that/those individual(s) to determine the value of any differences in worldviews and govern themselves accordingly. By value I mean how strongly does one fell about a particular view and why. Me, being what I think most people would consider a “reasonable person” believes that once an individual undergoes an honest assessment of his/her worldview, places value on any differences, he/she would then be in a better intellectual and emotional state to understand those differences and accept/embrace change.
I hold on to hope that anyone reading this will challenge themselves to take an honest inventory of their worldview to learn if they are able to make a difference in this world, starting with themselves.

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